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Monthly Archives: January 2022

Baby Keem unveils ‘Melodic Blue’ tour dates

Baby Keem has unveiled details of his 2022 tour dates.

READ MORE: Baby Keem – ‘The Melodic Blue’ review: Kendrick’s protege forges his own path on exhilarating debut

The ‘Melodic Blue’ tour will see Baby Keem hit the road this spring for a North American tour in support of his debut album.

The rapper took to social media last week to announce the tour, which will begin on March 7 in Cincinnati and will continue through New York, Atlanta, New Orleans an Chicago before concluding with an appearance at Coachella on April 22.

Tickets for the 28-date run are are available here. You can see the full list of dates below.

tix available now.

presale code “MELBLU”

— baby keem (@babykeem) January 27, 2022

Baby Keem Tour Dates

7 – Cincinnati – Bogart’s
8 – Detroit– Saint Andrew’s Hall
10 – Pittsburgh – Stage AE
11 – Columbus – Newport Music Hall
13 – New York – Terminal 5
14 – Providence – Fete Music Hall
15 – Baltimore – Baltimore Soundstage
17 – Norfolk – The NorVa
18 – Charlotte – The Underground
20 – Atlanta – Tabernacle Atlanta
22 – Orlando – The Beacham
23 – St. Petersburg – Jannus Live
24 – Ft. Lauderdale – Revolution Live
26 – New Orleans – BUKU Music + Art Project
27 – Nashville – Brooklyn Bowl Nashville
29 – St. Louis – The Pageant
30 – Chicago – Concord Music Hall


1 – Milwaukee – The Rave
2 – Minneapolis – The Fillmore Minneapolis
5 – Denver – Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
6 – Salt Lake City – The Depot
8 – Tempe – Marquee Theatre
9 – Las Vegas – Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
12 – Seattle – The Showbox
13 – Portland – Roseland Theater
15 – Indio – Coachella
18 – San Francisco – The Warfield
22 – Indio – Coachella

Reviewing his debut album, NME said: “While many have fired accusations of nepotism towards Keem during his early rise, it’s heartening to see him not use his mentor as too much of a crutch on ‘The Melodic Blue’. He doesn’t try to escape Kendrick’s [Lamar’s] influence either, openly admitting on ‘range brothers’ that “the shoes I fill are huge,” while on ‘family ties’ he says he’s grateful that Lamar “opened up doors” for him.

“Which of the many styles Keem decides to make his own in the future, is anyone’s guess, but on this occasion, ‘The Melodic Blue’ offers a confident and fully-realised project, one that shows that he continues to be difficult to pigeonhole.”

Keem was included in the NME 100 for 2021, praised for his “matter-of-fact delivery, cocky storytelling and infectiously simple choruses”.

The post Baby Keem unveils ‘Melodic Blue’ tour dates appeared first on NME.

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Rosalia Bares All on ‘Motomami’ Album Cover & Announces New Single: See Photo

Rosalia has officially unveiled the cover art for her forthcoming studio album, Motomami.

On Monday (Jan. 31), about two months after revealing the album’s title, the Spanish songstress shared an image in which she appears nude, covering her private parts with her hands. She’s rocking high pigtails and a motorcycle helmet. Her name is written in blue pen with the title “Motomami” in red graffiti.

Rosalia also revealed new music is dropping this week. “Omg here you have the cover of MOTOMAMI and guess what new song is coming this Fridayyyy,” she captioned the photo.

Motomami, set to drop this year, follow’s Rosalia’s 2018 Latin Grammy-winning El Mal Querer, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart (dated Nov. 16, 2018) and won five Latin Grammys, including album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album.

“La Fama,” her second collaborative effort with The Weeknd, is the first official track from the upcoming set. The all-Spanish bachata entered the top 10 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart dated Jan. 29 and marked the first top 10 for each artist on the list. Rosalía previously clocked her fifth top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart as the track hit No. 2 on the Nov. 27-dated survey.

“Rosalía is the type to be very judicious with what she releases,” Rosalía’s manager, Rebeca León, said during a panel at Billboard‘s Latin Music Week. “She’s a writer-producer, so she pays attention to every single detail. She’s not the type to write a song in a day.”

See her announcement below:

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There Was a Silver Lining in the 2022 Grammys’ Delay

There was a silver lining for the Recording Academy in the postponement of the 2022 Grammy Awards.

The show, which was originally set to air tonight, Monday (Jan. 31), was bumped back to April 3, due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. That keeps the show on a Sunday, where it has aired for the last five years. Sunday has long been regarded as the most prestigious time spot in television programming.

The Recording Academy also caught a break when their second-year host, Trevor Noah, was able to keep his hosting commitment on the rescheduled date.

The Grammys have aired on a Sunday night in all but two years since 2003. In 2006, the show aired on a Wednesday. In 2016, it aired on a Monday.

This year will mark the 18th time the show has aired on a Sunday, which enables Sunday to tie Wednesday as the most frequent night for a Grammy telecast since the first live telecast aired in 1971.

The first two live Grammy telecasts, in 1971 and 1972, aired on a Tuesday. The next five, from 1973-77, aired on a Saturday.

The show aired on a weeknight – Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – every year from 1978 through 2002.

The show has aired on every night of the week except Friday.

The first live Grammy telecast ran a brisk 90 minutes. The show soon expanded to two hours. It went to three hours with the milestone 25th annual Grammy telecast in February 1983. It has since expanded to a planned 3-1/2 hours, with the actual time of the show creeping past four hours on occasion.

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‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston’ Author Explains Why He Wrote the Book

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Feb. 11 marks 10 years since the death of Whitney Houston. The dualities of the multiplatinum selling singer’s life — both inside and outside of the spotlight — are explored in the new book Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston by Gerrick Kennedy, with a forward by Brandy. The book will be released on Tuesday (Feb. 1).

Here, Kennedy tells Billboard about why he wanted to take on this project:

What is it about Whitney that made you want to share her story?

The question I’m asked the most is why I wanted to write a book on Whitney Houston. For me the answer was quite simple: there wasn’t a book about her that was grounded in scholarship and reverence. As someone who loved her, deeply, that felt incredibly unfair to the brilliance she blessed the world with.

So much of our understanding of Whitney, and her story, is rooted in triumph and tragedy. The world loved her, but she was also incredibly mistreated by the media and by the public. My biggest apprehension is people hear you’re writing a book on Whitney and make assumptions that it’s an exposé or it’s uncovered some new detail in the tragedies that have unfortunately come to define her. I wanted to write the book I wanted to read on Whitney, one that explored her importance and searched for meaning in her triumphs and tragedies.

It’s a love letter to Whitney, but it’s also a reflection of how far we’ve evolved culturally since losing her.

What’s one thing that you were surprised to learn about her while researching and writing the book?

I spent years researching the book — watching old interviews, reading media coverage from her rise through her passing, and after, scouring YouTube and fan sites for everything.  As a fan, the things that surprised me were discovering little details on how certain songs came together that I never knew growing up. But there was a central theme that became clear as I went through the annals of Whitney coverage. I started to see how “shame” was a throughline of her life and career. Not just the shame Whitney carried or hid behind that we saw in her personal struggles, but the shame we projected onto her with our expectations and judgment. I found it surprising that we didn’t call this out more while she was here to hear it.

Buy: Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston ($25)

What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

Whitney will always be unknowable in a sense. She’s not here to tell us the totality of her story. I wish she were here to see this era of reconsideration we’re giving to our icons that have been mistreated. I wish she had the chance to make the documentary she wanted or write a memoir if she wanted. But she’s not, and I know I’m not the only one who will always grieve that. This book is a celebration of a generational talent the world will never see again and a reminder that she was so much more than her triumphs and tragedies. There’s two lines in the first chapter that inspired the title and is ultimately what I hope readers take away from the book: We’ll never know what could have been. But didn’t we almost have it all?

Below is an exclusive excerpt from the book’s chapter titled “Bolder, Blacker, Badder: The Sisters With Voices That Transformed Whitney.”

In our era of digitally assisted remembrance, Whitney Houston occupies a space that eluded her in life. A space where her Blackness is admired, never doubted. A glimpse of Whitney frozen in time or on a continuous loop is probably deep in your camera roll or stored among your most used GIFs. And if you don’t have Whitney saved to be at your disposal, she’s certainly graced your Twitter or Instagram feed or popped up in a group chat with your friends — craning her neck dramatically, or rolling her eyes, or looking exasperated or declaring, “Ahhh, that’s history” in the most pleasing manor. In death, through the permanence of memes, Whitney has become an auntie to all of us. It was always there, of course. Beneath the politesse, sequined gowns, and sugary pop confections that made her Whitney Houston was a round-the-way girl. But the diva hunger games that kept us bent on stacking her against Madonna, Janet, Paula, and Mariah as they all climbed the pop ladder made us overlook the idea of sisterhood that was integral to Whitney’s position in the music industry throughout her career.

The greatest Whitney GIF of all time — okay, maybe not the greatest, but certainly a Top 5 contender — was born out of the very sisterhood she held so dear. You’ve seen it. Natalie Cole is clutching the American Music Award she bested Whitney (and Paula Abdul) for as they laugh and point at each other, Natalie from the stage in her black sequined gown and gloves, and Whitney from her seat. “I don’t know how many times that Whitney and I have been in the same category together,” Natalie says at the beginning of her acceptance speech, locking eyes with her girl Whitney, “but I’m gonna enjoy this one!” It’s a beautiful image. This was 1992, and these were two pop powerhouses relishing in their success, but they were also Black women who were good girlfriends very publicly rooting for each other in a hellish industry that endlessly judged women against one another. Whitney and Natalie were entertainers who descended from music royalty, which magnified the pressures that came with their career and contributed to their struggles with drug dependency. They were women trying to make it — and left us far before they should have. I keep the GIF of Whitney and Natalie in my arsenal anytime I want to gas up one of my friends. Anytime I want to punctuate a “yass” or give praise to a shady read or a good word, I turn to that moment of Whitney and Natalie joy¬ously showing each other love. Whenever I look at it, my mind tries to place them here now, as if they were still here, competing for awards and giving us more joyful moments like the one they shared at the American Music Awards in 1992.

Sisterhood was so deep at the core of who Whitney was and how she moved in the industry. It’s what I’ve appreciated most about her, outside of any of her talents. As she got older, Whitney’s embracement of sisterhood showed an accessibility that her music and public-facing image had lacked in the beginning of her career. The way she uplifted Brandy and Monica in her name; how she embraced Kelly Price and Faith Evans and Deborah Cox; her deep friendships with Mariah and Mary J. Blige and CeCe Winans and Pebbles. The way she allowed herself to be vulnerable with Oprah Winfrey and talk about hitting rock bottom and the worst of her years with Bobby. We came to see Whitney as the quintessential Black auntie. And those GIFs of her being funny and shady that are frozen in our phones or the phrases she’s uttered that have embedded themselves in our psyche and become part of our vernacular all come from this period that I like to call the emergence of Auntie Nippy.

Before Whitney recorded the boldest (and most undeniably Black) music of her career, she filmed Waiting to Exhale. The adaptation of Terry McMillan’s bestselling tome centers sisterhood in its story of the trials and tribulations of modern Black women navigating romantic and familial relationships. Whitney had reached her zenith after singing the national anthem and followed that with the blockbuster success of The Bodyguard and its record-breaking soundtrack. For her next film role, she wanted something more complex. Something more real. Something that allowed her to show up onscreen as more than Whitney Houston, the pop diva. She found that in Waiting to Exhale. Terry McMillan writes beautifully and honestly about contemporary Black women. She writes of women who put their pain and desires on display; who live boldly or recklessly and are hopelessly looking for love, or at the very least a good lay; women who are trying to have it all in a world that doesn’t always have it for them. McMillan spoke directly, and frankly, to Black women looking to get their groove back. She wrote for the women who were sick of trifling-ass men; the women who had been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots; and the women who were in search of sexual freedom and personal liberation. Waiting to Exhale, her third novel, focused on a quartet of middle-class, thirtysomething Black women in the throes of emotional tumult and the sisterhood that kept them going. These were richly complex women—successful in their careers but deeply frustrated with love and family. The book made McMillan a household name when it became one of the best-selling works of fiction in 1992. Critics railed against her — the same way they rail against Tyler Perry now — for not being imaginative or ambitious enough in her prose and exploring subject matter that focused too much on the intersection of class, gender, and Black heterosexual desire without interrogating the racism, sexism, or socioeconomic volatility that impacts the way Black folks live in America. But McMillan, like Perry, was connecting with an audience that rarely saw themselves imprinted in fiction or television or film. We all knew women like Savannah and Robin and Gloria and Bernadine — glamorous, vulnerable, impulsive, passionate, feisty, human. These were real women who could have easily been our sisters or our favorite aunties. I was seven or eight when I found my mother’s copy of Waiting to Exhale in her bedroom. I wouldn’t read it fully until I was a teenager, but I was captivated by the cover, the brown faceless silhouettes dressed in sharp, vibrant clothes. The cover looked like the contemporary Black art my mama and all her sisterfriends — my aunties — had in their apartments. I would lay in bed with her as she read, curled up in her warmth — lost in my own (age-appropriate) adventure.

Given its success, a film adaptation of Waiting to Exhale was inevitable. Forest Whitaker made his directorial debut with the film, and Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, Loretta Devine, and Whitney were cast in the lead roles. At last Whitney had a nuanced role, one that required more of her than The Bodyguard and The Preacher’s Wife — films that were ostensibly built around the marvel of her singing voice. Savannah Jackson wasn’t a superstar pop diva being stalked or a neglected wife visited by a debonair angel. She was a weary woman who had reached great heights in her career but was deeply frustrated by her romantic prospects and her meddling mother. Savannah was a woman in search of peace of mind and a love that was meaningful. Like her sisterfriends, she was holding her breath for Mr. Right and tired of entertaining all the Mr. Wrongs who drifted into her life and made her shrink herself and put her needs second. Released around Christmas in 1995, Waiting to Exhale made history as the first film with all-Black female leads to open at number one at the box office. The popularity of the book and its blockbuster film adaptation were influential in normalizing middle-class Black women in the popular cultural consciousness. Studios were then eager to greenlight slickly produced soap operas exploring the Black middle class through ensemble family dramas and romantic comedies — far different from the hood films pouring out of Hollywood that coincided with the popularity of hip-hop and confronted the tumult of Black life in inner cities across the country. Whitney, like her onscreen character, was a woman in her early thirties. She had had a few years of marriage and motherhood under her belt, and twice as many as a superstar entertainer. She was worn out from the unkind press, the criticism of her personal life, of her music, and the nagging questions of authenticity.

Waiting to Exhale was pivotal in helping her change the narrative in a way she hadn’t been able to before. Whitney melted into the role of Savannah — a woman who had it all but somehow couldn’t snag a man who wasn’t a trifling dog. Whitney was sharp and funny in her performance, but more than that, she took the weariness her character lived in and merged it with her own pain. We didn’t know the depths of her personal sorrows yet. We suspected things were bad between her and Bobby. The tabloids churned out stories of Bobby’s infidelity and partying, and there was gossip that Whitney was a standoffish diva on set, chatter her co-stars attempted to silence. Years later, after she was long gone, we learned that Whitney actually overdosed on cocaine while shooting the film in Arizona. Whitney’s issues with drugs were still a secret from the general public, which again was only possible because we weren’t yet in a time when celebrity news was a twenty-four-hour machine. As far as we knew, Whitney was just a woman who appeared to be in a toxic marriage.

Excerpted from Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston by Gerrick Kennedy published by Abrams Press ©2022.

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Sony Music Publishing to Provide Songwriters With Mental Health and Wellness Resources

Sony Music Publishing will provide its global roster of songwriters and composers with access to free, confidential counseling services and wellness resources, the company announced Monday (Jan. 31).

Starting Tuesday, the new Songwriter Assistance program will offer 24/7 counseling support via global hotlines, in addition to ongoing counseling services for emotional health issues including stress, anxiety, depression and family/relationship challenges. The company’s songwriters and composers will also be given unlimited access to customized resources for tackling responsibilities such as researching childcare and eldercare options, navigating life transitions, co-parenting and budgeting for major life events.

Songwriter Assistance is an expansion of SMP’s Songwriters Forward Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program, which was established last July to help create new earnings opportunities for the publisher’s legacy songwriters. The new initiative is also being billed as an extension of the company’s Soundtrack of Mental Health Program, which it launched in tandem with the mental health nonprofit Silence the Shame in March 2021.

“We are committed to providing you with services that matter,” said SMP chairman and CEO Jon Platt in announcing the program in a letter addressed to the company’s songwriters and composers. “The importance of wellness cannot be overstated, and with Songwriter Assistance, we look forward to offering you a new level of care and support.”

Added Amy Cranford, SMP senior vp, publishing administration, “We are passionate about taking care of Sony Music Publishing’s songwriters and composers and providing them with the best level of support. As we continue to expand our services with Songwriters Forward, we are proud to implement SMP’s Songwriter Assistance initiative.”

SMP songwriters and composers can learn more about Songwriter Assistance on the publisher’s website and by emailing

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Olivia Rodrigo, FINNEAS & More: Who Should Win Best New Artist at the 2022 Grammys? Vote!

Though the 64th annual Grammy Awards have been postponed to April 3 due to COVID-19 — the ceremony was originally set to air tonight, Monday (Jan. 31) — it’s not too early to talk about which rookie musician could go home with the best new artist award.

Expanded to recognize the talents and achievements of 10 artists who have had a significant impact on pop culture during the past year, the 2022 best new artist category features 18-year-old pop stars Olivia Rodrigo and The Kid LAROI, both of whom had long-running No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as eight-time Grammy winner Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother and frequent collaborator.

In addition to highlighting pop stars, artists across several genres are up for an opportunity to win big this year. Japanese Breakfast and Glass Animals are representing for the alternative genre — and are the only two groups in the running, competing against eight solo artists — while Baby Keem and Saweetie‘s achievements in rap earned them a spot in the category. Jimmie Allen stands as the sole country artist up for the award, Arooj Aftab is this year’s wild card, and Arlo Parks is an indie-pop critical favorite.

In addition, Two of this year’s nominees are related to past nominees or winners. Finneas is the brother of Billie Eilish, who won two years ago. Baby Keem is the cousin of Kendrick Lamar, who was nominated (but lost to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) eight years ago.

Who do you think deserves to win best new artist this year? See the full list of nominees and cast your vote below. 

Take Our Poll

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Here’s Every Time Rihanna Sings the Word ‘Baby’

Fenty Baby is on the way! Rihanna and A$AP Rocky broke the Internet Monday (Jan. 31) after photos surfaced of the couple out and about in a blistery NYC — with the “Love on the Brain” singer’s bare baby bump on full display.

Although the pregnancy reveal marks the beginning of motherhood for RiRi, this won’t be the first time we’ll hear her say “baby.” In fact, in the time since she dropped her first record in 2005, we’ve heard her sing the word hundreds of times — 364, to be exact. Which means, yes, Billboard underwent the (extremely productive) task of going through every song from RiRi’s discography to count every appearance of “baby” across her eight solo albums. Because we needed to know (and thought you might like to know too).

Find an exhaustive list of every “baby” lyric below (not including tracks by other artists she’s featured on).

Music of the Sun (2005)

“Here I Go Again”

+ “Baby, here I go again” (7x)

“If It’s Lovin’ That You Want”

+ “Baby, come and share my world, share my world, oh” (5x)

+ “’Cause everything that you need, I got it right here baby, baby” (4x)

+ “Baby, come tell me your secrets, and tell me all your dreams”

+ “Everything you’ve ever wanted, baby”

+ “Come and take a walk with me, walk with me, baby”

+ “‘Cause everything that you need, I got it right here, baby”

+ “Then you should make me your girl (Make me your girl, baby), your girl”

“You Don’t Love Me”

+ “If you ask me, baby, I shoulda left you a long time ago, no” (3x)

“The Last Time”

+ “Baby boy, it’s the last time” (3x)

+ “No, baby”

+ “Baby, goodbye”

“Willing to Wait”

+ “Baby, slow down”

+ “Baby boy, can’t you see the stop sign?”

+ “Baby, love doesn’t grow in a day” (2x)

+ “Baby, if you’re willing to wait, we can just take our time (Take our time)” (6x)

+ “It’s mutual, baby” (2x)

+ “Boy, you know I want to, baby”

+ “And I know what’s on your mind (I know, baby, baby, yeah, yeah)”

+ “It’s mutual, baby (Mutual, baby)”

+ “Hey, baby”

“Let Me”

+ “And I’m tired of waitin’, baby, why you still debating baby?”

+ “Baby, let’s go dance away” (2x)

+ “Let me, let me, baby”


+ “I’m feeling you, baby” (4x)

“Now I Know”

+ “Baby, can’t you see?”

Total: 71

A Girl Like Me (2006)


+ “Y-O-U are makin’ this hard (Why you makin’ this hard for me, baby?)”

“Kisses Don’t Lie”

+ “‘Cause, baby, kisses don’t lie” (3x)

+ “Kisses don’t, no, they don’t, never don’t lie (Baby, kisses don’t lie)”

+ “I feel a rush, but I’m afraid that it might crush me (Crush me, baby)”

+ “Kisses don’t, no, they don’t, never don’t lie (Don’t lie, baby, kisses don’t lie)”

+ “I try to slow down, but my heart won’t listen (Just won’t listen, baby, hey)”

+ “Should I put my trust in somethin’ I don’t trust in? (Trust in, baby, yeah)”

“We Ride”

+ “My sweet baby, this is where the game ends now”

“Break It Off”

+ “And I’m hopin’, baby, you don’t mind”

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”

+ “Then you opened up my eyes to a crazy little thing called love (Crazy, crazy, baby, baby)”

+ “Don’t understand the meaning/ This means crazy, baby”

+ “I try my best not to show/ But you know it’s so crazy, baby”

“Selfish Girl”

+ “Baby boy, what you done to me?”

“If It’s Lovin’ That You Want, Pt. 2”

+ “Then baby, come and share my world, share my world, oh-oh, oh” (4x)

+ “‘Cause everything that you need, I got it right here baby, baby, oh-oh, oh” (3x)

+ “Baby, come tell me your secrets, and tell me all your dreams”

+ “‘Cause everything that you need, I got it right here baby, baby, oh-oh, oh
(Here baby, oh-oh)”

“Who Ya Gonna Run To?”

+ “Baby, please, you don’t have to explain the reasons”

“Coulda Been The One”

+ “Coulda been, shoulda been, baby”

+ “Coulda been the one, baby”

Total: 36

Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)


+ “Baby, ‘cause in the dark”

+ “Ooh, baby, it’s rainin’, rainin’” (2x)

+ “Baby, come here to me”

“Push Up on Me”

+ “It’s getting later baby, and I’m getting curious”

+ “Baby, there ain’t nothing to it/ Baby, who you think you’re fooling?”

+ “And let’s play a game (Yeah), I won’t be a tease (No, baby)”

“Don’t Stop the Music”

+ “Baby, I’ma say your aura is incredible”

+ “Baby, are you ready? ’Cause it’s getting close”

“Breakin’ Dishes”

+ “But now I’m hot, and baby, you gon’ get it”

“Shut Up and Drive”

+ “If you can, baby boy, then we can go all night” (3x)

+ “Baby, you got the keys” (3x)

“Say It”

+ “Baby, baby, don’t be shy (Shy)” (4x)

+ “So baby, why won’t you (Say it)” (4x)

+ “But I’m here for you, baby”

+ “But some things, baby, are not worth hiding” (4x)

“Sell Me Candy”

+ “Then baby, sell it to me” (3x)

“Lemme Get That”

+ “Got what you want, baby, got what you need” (3x)


+ “Baby, baby, when we first met”

+ “Baby, you’re my disease” (6x)

+ “‘Cause baby, you’re my disease” (6x)


+ “I should’ve never let you hold me, baby”

Total: 55

Rated R (2009)

“Wait Your Turn”

+ “Baby put the work in like a champion”

+ “Baby got the whole world standing up”


+ “I told ya baby, baby”

+ “I told ya. baby” (5x)

+ “Hey baby, I’m a rockstar (Rockstar)” (6x)

+ “Hey baby” (3x)

+ “Baby, I’m a rockstar (Rockstar)” (3x)

+ “Hey baby, it’s big cities (Big cities)” (3x)

+ “Oh, baby I’m a” (27x)

+ “So baby take me in, I’ll disobey the law”

“Fire Bomb”

+ “Seems cold, but baby, no, it doesn’t have to be”

+ “Now we’re flying from the blast, baby”

+ “Baby, we were killin’ ’em”

“Rude Boy”

+ “Take it, take it (Yeah), baby, baby (Yeah)” (8x)

+ “Tonight, baby, we could get it on, yeah, we could get it on, yeah”

+ “Give it to me, baby, like boom, boom, boom” (2x)

+ “Tonight, I’ma get a little crazy, get a little crazy, baby”

+ “Take it, take it, baby, baby” (3x)


+ “Now baby, it’s killing me”

+ “Baby, I’m falling down”

+ “Baby, I’m hurting now”

+ “I’d give anything, baby, here’s my heart”


+ “Baby bang, tell me what you need, oh”

“The Last Song”

+ “But baby, we’ll hear it when I’m gone”

+ “Baby let ’em play it, maybe it’ll save the world”

“Hole in My Head”

+ “Baby might drown”

+ “Catch me on your mind baby”

+ “Don’t waste my time baby”

+ “You can take that as a sign baby”

Total: 91

Loud (2010)

“What’s My Name?”

+ “Baby, you’re a challenge”

+ “Baby, you got me”

“Only Girl (In The World)”

+ “Baby, I’ll tell you all my secrets that I’m keeping”

+ “Oh, baby, take me high, high” (2x)

“Raining Men”

+ “Think you gettin’ somethin’, baby, you ain’t gettin’ none”

+ “Load it, cock it, aim it, baby, boom bye-bye”


+ “Will throw my hands up ’cause, baby, I tried” (4x)

+ “And you come running after me, and baby, I’m back with you, oh”


+ “Baby, strip down for me, go on, take ’em off” (2x)

+ “Don’t worry, baby, I’ma meet you halfway” (2x)

+ “So, baby, don’t stop what you’re doing (Uh-huh, ah)”

+ “Come here, baby, all I wanna see you in is just skin (Oh woah)” (3x)

+ “All in, baby, don’t hold nothing back (Oh woah)”

+ “Just put your skin, baby, on my skin”

+ “You a beast, oh, you know that I like that skin (You know that I like it, baby)”

Total: 23

Talk That Talk (2011)

“You Da One”

+ “Baby, I love you”

+ “Baby, we meant to be”

+ “Baby come, take me now”

+ “That’s what happens, baby”

+ “No, baby, just one, one, one, one”

“Where Have You Been”

+ “I’ve been everywhere, man, looking for you, babe/ Looking for you babe, searching for you baby”

“Birthday Cake”

+ “Oh, baby I like it”

“Roc Me Out”

+ “I just want you to know, baby”

“Watch n’ Learn”

+ “Oh, baby, baby, just like that/ Slow, baby, baby, just like that/ Oh, baby, baby, turn me out/ Oh, baby, baby, it’s your turn now” (3x)

+ “Oh, baby, baby” (6x)

+ “Baby, all I need”

+ “By the way you please me, baby”

Total: 46

Unapologetic (2012)

“Loveeeeeee Song”

+ “Oh baby, I’m not asking for the world, maybe”

+ “You can give me what I want, baby”

“Right Now”

+ “Baby, tonight I need you”

+ “Whenever, baby, I’m yours”

“Nobody’s Business”

+ “But mine and my baby” (4x)

+ “Mine and my baby”

+ “I wanna be your baby, you’ll always be my baby”

+ “Baby, give me time” (2x)

+ “It ain’t nobody’s business just mine and my baby” (2x)

Total: 15

ANTI (2016)


+ “Heard you tryna sell your soul, baby”

“Kiss It Better”

+ “Kiss it, kiss it better, baby” (12x)

+ “Baby tell me what’s wrong?” (2x)


+ “Baby, don’t you leave”


+ “Baby you just need to send for me”

“Needed Me”

+ “But baby, don’t get it twisted” (2x)

+ “But baby ooh, you needed me” (2x)

“Love On The Brain”

+ “Baby, you got me like ‘Oh’”

+ “Baby you got me like i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-hiii, woo i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-hiii” (2x)

+ “Baby keep loving me”

+ “Baby like i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-hiii, woo i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-hiii”

“Sex with Me”

+ “Baby, I’ma pick your poison”

Total: 27












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The Changing World of A&R

There’s a common story told about the rise of Vanilla Ice and his breakout single “Ice Ice Baby” — that, in 1990, a DJ at a radio station in Mississippi flipped over the 45 of an unknown Dallas MC’s version of “Play That Funky Music” and stumbled onto a hit. For Pete Ganbarg, then a young A&R at SBK Records whose boss picked up the single for national distribution after talking to the station’s program director, the episode was illustrative of how the job of label A&R was done.

“Back then, A&R research was, ‘There’s a radio station somewhere that’s playing an unsigned artist and the phones are going nuts,’ or, ‘There’s a record store somewhere that’s selling a cassette or album or CD on consignment and they can’t keep it in stock,’” says Ganbarg, now president of A&R at Atlantic Records. “It was basically scouting, going to clubs a lot, talking to people in different cities, a lot of phone calls.”

Over the past 30 years, however, the mechanics of how an A&R rep does their job — if not the ultimate goal of the role itself — have fundamentally changed due to the advances of technology and communication in an increasingly immediate and globalized world. “Now, your job is more about, ‘Somebody uploaded something somewhere and people are reacting to it,’” Ganbarg says. “But the one thing that doesn’t change is the actual core of A&R: Is this an amazing artist, and is this a hit song? You can find somebody on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean they’re an artist in the tradition of the Streisand’s and Springsteen’s and Aretha’s.”

In the past decade, as the recorded music business has shifted from one of its lowest points into yet another period of growth and strength, record labels have changed rapidly to stay on top of that change and maintain their value for a new generation of artists. But in many ways, A&R still is the lifeblood of a record label: without artists and their repertoire, there is little point to the rest of the enterprise.

“If the A&R doesn’t bring the talent in the building, no one else has anything to work,” says Tim Glover, senior vp A&R at Interscope Geffen A&M. “Labels lean heavily on A&Rs to bring talent in, help others to see that vision and to make sure everyone in the building understands the type of music that they’re creating and the audience that they’re targeting.”

In a new series examining how record labels are changing, Billboard spoke to A&Rs from eight different labels about how they do their job, what it takes and how things have shifted, both in the recent past and moving into the future. “A&R, like music, continues to evolve,” says Warner Records executive vp A&R Jeff Sosnow. “As soon as you think you know something there’s something new around the corner. And you need to be flexible and malleable and adjust.”

The Job

Due to the amorphous nature of the job — not to mention that everyone who has ever heard of a band before their friends thinks they can do it — the actual role of an A&R person and all that goes into it isn’t very clearly understood. Yes, it is about finding new artists and helping them complete their records — as Glover puts it, “keeping an ear out for new artists, finding new talent, helping to develop the talent that you have” — but it encompasses much more than that.

“Prior to being an A&R, I thought it was a lot of being in the studio and one-on-one conversations with artists and centered exclusively around the creation of music,” says Sara Knabe, vp A&R at BBR Music Group. “But you’re really intersecting with every department, dealing with managers a lot and there is a lot of back-end paperwork and business side to it, which is really important with credits and making sure people are paid correctly.”

That cross-department interaction can take many forms. “I really like to weigh in on photoshoots, video treatments, directors, the launch of records, the setup of records; I spend a lot of time looking at all that stuff,” Sosnow says. But it also extends to getting each of those departments on board for a project that many of them may not know much about in the beginning. “Getting everybody excited about a new signing internally is a talent and a skill in and of itself,” says Jon Coombs, vp A&R for Secretly Group. “Being able to whip a room and get people really motivated and in line with the mission [is important].”

Just as often, however, being an A&R person is about relationships with the artist and their team as well as within the label itself. “Most new artists come in thinking they are one break from superstardom,” says Def Jam executive vp A&R Noah Preston. “It’s our job to educate them about the process, establish a work ethic, help them become professionals, manage their expectations while helping them achieve their dreams. It’s a balancing act.”

“I’m here to connect the real artistic vision with where it needs to go and I’m here to care about the person who makes that,” adds Katie Vinten, newly-named senior vp A&R at Columbia Records. “If someone’s trusting you with their career, never treat them as some sort of commodity or flash in the pan — you are a part of the team that’s helping to put their dreams into motion, and everybody you work with is somebody’s kid.”

What that takes, according to everybody interviewed, is a particular set of skills: the ability to build a network, both to discover new talent and to connect artists, producers and songwriters with one another; an open ear to be listening to just about everything and anything that’s released; and the ability to trust yourself, occasionally at the expense of all else.

“It is really important to trust your gut and your taste and trust that if you love this great music that other people would love great music,” says Dan Chertoff, vp A&R at RCA Records. “You’re trying to find a needle in a haystack, and that entails a lot of determination and digging.”

As Ganbarg puts it, “The minute you stop trusting your own ears, you’re done.”

How It’s Changing

Still, the ubiquity of streaming and social media — its speed, potential for virality and the enormous amount of data which it can yield — has done more to change A&R than any other shift in the past few decades. And particularly in the pandemic, when the traditional eye test and old-school data points of live performance and ticket sales have largely disappeared, data — how a song is performing, the engagement level of fans and everything else — has ballooned in importance.

“When going to shows slowed down with the pandemic, as an A&R person, I think you became more reliant on data, how an artist uses social media and all of their platforms to engage and grow their audience, rather than the traditional version of data, which was ticket sales,” says Chertoff. “It’s gone from traditional gut calls based on the music to a combination of believing in the music and the artistry and seeing a path forward for a great career, but also marrying that with aspects of data that we look at every day. You have to do both.”

Which isn’t to say that data has replaced the gut call of believing in an artist’s vision without millions of TikTok followers — most call it another tool in a sea of indicators that can be used to help identify talent. But data, and the streaming era in general, has had a knock-on effect on other aspects of the job, too.

“Without a doubt, [streaming] has made our job much more competitive; things just move much quicker now so you have to be much more aware,” Preston says. But he also notes that the global purview of services like Spotify, Apple Music and social media have broadened the scope of where artists can be found, as well as how. “It’s become a more global, genreless and ageless profession,” he says. “Ten years ago it was a lot easier to put your head in the sand, stick to your strengths and ignore new trends. But with the emergence of things like TikTok and the metaverse, we have to consciously be aware of what’s changing in the world today.”

That speed has also created a world of constant content and an insatiable demand for what’s new. “You’re rarely finished with a project — the rollout is continuous to feed a fan base that’s gotten used to having music come out more frequently,” Knabe says. “So there’s never really that moment of being done with a project and moving on to the next one; everybody’s constantly creating.”

Another shift: as the barrier for entry into the music business has been lowered, there can be less of a need for those A&R networks and connective relationships, as artists come into the game with entire creative collectives and self-contained crews, as well as fully-formed visions, turning the job into one of facilitation rather than creation where artist development is sometimes not needed, or wanted. But perhaps more than anything, it’s shattered the traditional way that artists have been brought into the broader business ecosystem — for better and for worse.

“A lot of the criteria and rules that informed a signing in previous years have simply been thrown out the window,” says Sosnow. “I’ve signed artists now that have never played shows before, artists that have been broken up and got back together based on a song going viral — it’s just very different. It’s democratized production, writing and artistry. It’s a new world where one really has to be mindful of data.”

The Future

As the streaming era matures and data increasingly becomes more actionable, A&R will inevitably follow down the path of more information backing gut intuition. To what extent it becomes necessary, however, will continue to change the profession.

“Everything is all about research, whether it’s how well a song is doing, whether it’s finding talent, looking at engagement on social platforms,” Glover says. “I do understand that you need to go and see if your song is connecting, but if I love a song, I’m gonna go hard for it either way. But now I feel like the game has changed so much that you’re not going to radio unless you’re seeing that song doing well on socials.”

But it will also continue to expand the talent pool available to A&Rs in the business, which could benefit artists and scenes in a variety of ways.

“The more global music influences us here in the States, the more we have to be aware of what’s happening internationally at earlier stages,” Preston says. “Ex-U.S. artists are impacting our music more than we impact theirs at this point, but as an industry we have to do a better job of not milking other territories and cultures, but working with them to develop new things.”

Even as technological shifts continue to alter how the world functions, there are some elements of A&R that may not fundamentally change. Ganbarg points to the Hamilton cast recording, for which he signed the deal with Atlantic, as a throwback to his childhood in the 1970s, when cast recordings were much more popular. “Times change, but if there’s a great Broadway cast recording, people will listen to it,” he says. “The A and R comes down to the great artist performing the amazing copyright. Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’ is a great singer singing a great song. Sometimes you forget that that’s what the audience wants.”

What Are You Looking for When Signing an Artist?

Dan Chertoff: “I always listen to two things. One is the song — that’s always most important. The second thing to me is a distinct vocal.”

Jon Coombs: “At the center of it all it’s still just making sure that we’re partnering with the artists who are making the music that we want to hear. It’s as simple as that. That’s been a guiding principle since day one at Secretly — it’s ingrained in us all.”

Pete Ganbarg: “It’s not about what I think. My opinion doesn’t really matter. The only opinion, ultimately, that matters is the people who choose to listen or not listen to a song. So it’s my job to try to connect the dots between where the artist is and where the people are.”

Tim Glover: “Passion and direction. I want the artist to have that passion and love for music, but I also want the artist’s team to have the passion to win. In this day and age, that’s almost just as important as the artist.”

Sara Knabe: “Originality in sound, brand, vision, what they’re trying to say, knowing who they are, how they differentiate from someone else. You can have influences, but they need to create their own sound.”

Noah Preston: “Dope personality, different story, just something real that complements the music. It’s so easy for fans nowadays to spot something inauthentic, so if I can’t clearly define who you are as an artist and a person, then I can’t assume the world will.”

Jeff Sosnow: “With contemporary signings of late, it’s having heard a song and seeing a remarkable voice and musicality, innate talent and musicality. There’s something unusual about that that triggers your sixth sense, you know?”

Katie Vinten: “I’m just looking for the kind of artist that reminds me of why I started in music, of how I felt when I first heard ‘No Such Thing’ by John Mayer before he blew up. Those kind of lyrics and crafting and vision — that, to me, is a high standard.”

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Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R. & Becky G Join Michelle Obama’s Voter Campaign

NBA player Steph Curry and musical artists H.E.R. and Jennifer Lopez are among celebrities who have joined a national nonpartisan voting initiative launched by Michelle Obama as the effort gears up for the November congressional elections.

“Are you ready for the midterm elections?” the former first lady asks in a video announcement Monday (Jan. 31).

H.E.R., Curry, Lopez, Becky G and Bretman Rock are the newest co-chairs of Obama’s When We All Vote initiative. They join Selena Gomez, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy, Janelle Monae, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Megan Rapino, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington and Rita Wilson.

The volunteer co-chairs use their platforms to help boost voter registration and education with the goal of helping increase turnout for congressional and state elections in November. Democrats currently have slim majorities in both the House and Senate.

“The right to vote is so important and I hope to inspire many in my generation to exercise that right often and purposefully,” H.E.R said in a statement provided by When We All Vote. “That’s the only way that we can hope to make change in policies that affect us all now and for many years to come.”

Mrs. Obama launched the voter education and registration initiative for the 2018 midterm elections.

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Puppy unveil new album and share blistering new single ‘…And Watched It Glow’

Puppy have unveiled details of a new album today (January 31) – listen to blistering new single ‘…And Watched It Glow’ below.

READ MORE: “We aim for somewhere between Teenage Fanclub an Black Sabbath”: an interview with Puppy, your new favourite rock band 

Their second album, ‘Pure Evil’ will be released on May 7 via Rude Records. Pre-orders for  this will launch soon.

‘…And Watched It Glow’ is the third track following on from previously released singles, ‘Angel’ and ‘The Kiss’, both of which were released last year.

You can listen to the new track here:


Speaking about the new album, ‘vocalist and guitarist Jock Norton said: “We had to dig fairly deep to find the purpose in doing any of it, because the global narrative was rightly shifted to more important things.

“But I think to be honest that sort of introspection had filtered through into other aspects of our lives, so being able to record this album sort of gave us a bit of purpose and something to cling on to.

“Ultimately for us we wanted to feel engaged and productive and useful, even if it was only for ourselves and each other. Like I said, there’d be times when it would feel a bit meaningless, but getting to a place where you’re comfortable with that and happy to let the work be it’s own reward really helped us grow as a band and as people I think.”

He added: “Broadly speaking I think we’ve always tried to combine classic pop songwriting with a love of heavier music, and on this album I think we take that a step further with some of our loudest moments combined with some of our sweetest. It feels like a nice way to say something about the band and our ethos while ultimately still being able to call it something stupid.”

Summing up the new album and what to expect, Norton added: “To us the whole thing feels like a time capsule of this weird limbo period and I think that comes across on the album, or at least I hope it does. Postcards from the edge or whatever.”

The post Puppy unveil new album and share blistering new single ‘…And Watched It Glow’ appeared first on NME.

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